Med dette verset fra Joh 20,21 åpner pave benedikt sitt budskap til Verdensmisjonsdagen, som vi feier i dag. Hele budskapet kan leses her. Hos Missio i England har jeg funnet følgende oppsummering av hans ord:
As the father sent me, so I send you.
World Mission Sunday
A vital invitation to ceaselessly proclaim the Gospel re-echoes every year to each of us in the celebration of World Mission Sunday. Mission is the most precious service that the Church can render to humanity and to every individual seeking profound reasons for living his or her existence to the full. Missionary activity also renews the Church, revitalises faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!
Go and proclaim
All those who have met the risen Lord have felt the need to proclaim him to others, as did the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. We too must be ready to recognize his face and run to our brothers and sisters with the good news: ‘We have seen the Lord!’
The Gospel proclamation benefits all peoples. The Church is missionary by her very nature, since it is from the mission of the Son and the mission of the Holy Spirit that she draws her origin. This is the Church’s deepest identity – rooted in particular places in order to go beyond them, she exists in order to evangelise.
Our urgent task
This task has not lost any of its urgency. We cannot be content when we consider that, after 2,000 years, there are still peoples who do not know Christ and have not yet heard his message of salvation. Not only this: but there is an ever greater number of people to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed, but who have forgotten it, or abandoned it and no longer associate with the Church.
The joint responsibility of all, always
The Gospel is not an exclusive possession of those who have received it, but it is a gift to be shared, good news to be passed on to others. And this gift is entrusted not only to some, but to all the baptised. World Mission Sunday, too, is not an isolated moment in the year, but a precious opportunity to pause and reflect on whether and how we respond to the missionary vocation: our response is essential for the life of the Church.
Together in mission
Solidarity is one of the objectives of World Mission Sunday. Through the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio) we appeal for your help to carry out evangelising activities in mission territories, and support institutions necessary for establishing and consolidating the Church. Equally, to ignore the temporal problems of humanity – poverty, malnutrition, disease, lack of health care services and education – would be to forget the lesson which comes to us from the Gospel concerning love of our neighbour who is suffering and in need.
The lesson of love
Therefore I invite you to consider your own contribution to mission, wherever you may be in the world. Through participation in the Church’s mission, the Christian becomes a builder of communion, of peace and of the solidarity that Christ has given us, and collaborates in fulfilling God’s plan of salvation for all humanity. May World Mission Sunday reawaken in each of us the joy and desire to go out to meet humanity, taking Christ to all.